We use technology every day for almost everything from Banking to operating Cars, Home appliances. It has become a very significant fabric in our lives. However, most people do not realize that the computers which are being used to perform most of these tasks are highly insecure.
Cybercrime is not a rare phenomenon anymore. These so-called cyber intrusions are becoming more and more dangerous and sophisticated. Companies and people are being targeted for sensitive data such as trade secrets, financial and health information etc. There is a need to address the pervasive and ever evolving cyberthreat, which has resulted in the evolution of the so-called Cybersecurity specialists.
As per Gartner, ‘Cybersecurity encompasses a broad range of practices, tools and concepts related closely to those of information and operational technology security. Cybersecurity is distinctive in its inclusion of the offensive use of information technology to attack adversaries’. Cybersecurity specialists are the ones who use these tools and concepts to prevent cybercrime.
The dramatic increase in cybercrimes in the recent years has resulted in an exponential increase in the demand for Cybersecurity specialists. ISACA, a global security advocacy group, predicts there will be a global shortage of 2 million Cyber security professionals by the year 2019. This information is enough to make one attracted to this field. However, in order to enter and excel in this highly rewarding yet demanding industry, you must atleast have the following skillset:
- Good understanding of Computer and Networks is a must
- Focus on Detail
- Strong analytical skills
- Continuous learning
Additionally, there are several certifications that allow you to showcase your skills and stay ahead. Some of the most significant ones are as follows:
CISA (Certified Information Security Auditor): This is a world renowned certification course that allows one to gain the knowledge, information and expertise to identify critical issues in various kinds of information systems. Having this certification confirms the knowledge that you have acquired to address the dynamic challenges in the field of Information systems security (including cybersecurity).
CISA is globally conducted and governed by ISACA which is a Non-Profit Organization focused solely on IT Governance. The curriculum is divided into 5 major Domains/Practice areas:
- Domain 1: The Process of Auditing Information Systems
- Domain 2: Governance and Management of IT
- Domain 3—Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation
- Domain 4—Information Systems Operations, Maintenance and Service Management
- Domain 5—Protection of Information Assets
CISM (Certified Information Security Manager): This too is a highly recognized certification course that allows one to demonstrate his/her expertise in Management of Information Systems security. Possessing this certification recognizes one’s ability to manage, oversee, assess and design Information security practices and systems for an enterprise.
CISM is also globally conducted and governed by ISACA. The curriculum is divided into 4 major Domains/Practice areas:
- Domain 1—Information Security Governance
- Domain 2—Information Risk Management
- Domain 3—Information Security Program Development and Management
- Domain 4—Information Security Incident Management
CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional): This is an independent certification conducted and governed by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium more commonly known as (ISC)². This is highly valued because of its Difficulty level (6 hours exam) and Return on Investment (Ranked 4th amongst the top highest paying certifications across industries). CISSP training provides information security professionals with an objective measure of competence and a globally recognised standard of achievement.
The CISSP curriculum is divided into the following Domains:
- Domain 1- Security and Risk Management
- Domain 2- Asset Security
- Domain 3- Security Engineering
- Domain 4- Communication and Network Security
- Domain 5- Identity and Access Management
- Domain 6- Security Assessment and Testing
- Domain 7- Security Operations
- Domain 8- Software Development and Security
Since all the above mentioned courses are difficult and require a significant amount of preparation, there are web-based and instructor-led courses in the current market to help you speed up the process and increase your chances of success.
Now that you know what skills are needed to become a successful Cybersecurity specialist and how to obtain them, you should look at large HealthCare, financial, Global Manufacturing organizations and consulting firms such as Deloitte, PWC, EY, KPMG for career opportunities.
Hope this information helps you to get started!